With Earth Day just passing, it got me thinking about ways to be friendlier to the environment. I feel like I do a fair job of reducing, reusing, and recycling – like when I reused glass bottles to make our wedding centerpieces! I also take my own tote bags to the grocery store, buy organic food whenever possible, and monitor my water usage. Another thing I've been trying to do in recent years is switch to more natural beauty products. After I was diagnosed with a few minor food allergies I really started to pay attention to what was being put into our food and beauty products. One of the switches I made was to a natural deodorant. I tried a few different brands and selected Tom's of Maine as my favorite. I've been using it for several months and I love it. When I received this opportunity to review some new Tom's of Maine products, I couldn't say no! I love what Tom's of Maine stands for – caring for the community and the planet. All their ingredients are naturally sourced, free of artificial flavors and colors, and no animal testing. They reduce waste by using recycled and biodegradable content whenever possible, and provide complete transparency about their ingredients and company practices. They love our planet, and I love that they want to reach brides and grooms who are eco-conscious as well! If you're feeling inspired to go green on your wedding day, here are 12 ideas to get you started.
12 Ways to Go Green on Your Wedding Day
1. Ask your venue about their sustainability procedures. Will the food be locally sourced? What are the recycling procedures? Will they be mindful of your request to generate as little waste as possible?
2. Cut down on stationery. Instead of sending paper invitations through the mail, use a electronic invitation service like Paperless Post. Cut out things like programs and menus; you don't really need them and guests won't miss them.
3. Use natural beauty products. Most mainstream beauty products are full of strange chemicals that can, over long-term use, be harmful to your body and harmful to the planet! Look for products that use natural ingredients, such as Tom's of Maine. I mentioned above that I love and use their deodorant but they have a ton of other products, including lotions, soaps, toothpastes, and lip balms. Their newest product line – the Made to Matter line available only at Target – includes a new antiperspirant for men called North Woods Naturally Dry, and a new deodorant meant for teens called Wicked Cool! I actually tested the Wicked Cool! Summer Fun deodorant and I love it. It has a natural berry scent that teens (and *ahem* even adults) will love. And if you're looking to whiten your teeth before the big day, pick up the Tom's of Maine Luminous White toothpaste. It provides natural whitening, plus is safe for enamel and is gluten and paraben free. Want to try Tom's of Maine for yourself? Click here for a special cartwheel offer from Tom's of Maine and Target!
4. Rent your wedding dress. There are so many pretty, pretty dresses out there that are worn once and then shoved in a closet or an attic, never to be seen again. And the tradition of passing down your dress to a daughter is becoming outdated. If you aren't worried about the sentimental attachment of purchasing your own dress and keeping it forever, consider renting your wedding dress. Sites like Borrowing Magnolia and Rent the Runway rent out dresses in perfect condition. Pay a small fee and send it back for future brides to enjoy. You can also rent your bridesmaids dresses!
5. Use flowers that are in season. Roses are the most popular wedding flower but they aren't always available in every geographic location. Instead of having roses flown in, work with your florist to obtain locally grown flowers for your bouquet. Or, make your own bouquet using brooches or silk flowers. Get creative! As a bonus, if you make your own bouquet you'll be able to keep it forever!
6. Choose a plated meal over buffet. Typically with a buffet there is a ton of extra food leftover. If you have to go the buffet route, ask your venue or caterer if it's possible to donate the leftover food to a local shelter.
7. Give your guests consumable favors like a food item or seeds they can plant. Or, in lieu of favors, make a donation to offset your wedding's carbon dioxide emissions. You can calculate your wedding's carbon footprint here.
8. Choose vintage jewelry. Check thrift shops and secondhand stores for amazing treasures. Better yet, ask the women in your life if they have any jewelry you can borrow. It will check off your "something borrowed" item, too!
9. Decorate with live plants. Potted succulents make beautiful centerpieces or place cards, and guests can take them home and care for them for years. Larger plants and potted flowers can be taken to a hospital, senior living facility, or shelter in your area.
10. Instead of tossing rice or paper confetti, use bird seed or flower petals or another organic material. (Check with your venue regarding what is allowed.)
11. Set up a registry for honeymoon expenses or cash verses loading up a registry with things you don't really want or need.
12. Honeymoon locally. If you can, avoid a honeymoon spot that requires air travel. Taking the train is even better! If you're in Southern California, there are so many beautiful options within a few hours drive.